HATE AS A POLITICAL OUTCAST

in Ethnologia Europaea
Author:
Birgitte Schepelern Johansen University of Copenhagen bjohansen@hum.ku.dk

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Increasingly, certain types of crime, speech and prejudice are being targeted by European policy makers under the label of “hate.” Building on participant observations at anti-hate crime conferences in Copenhagen and Vilnius, and policy documents and campaign material from a range of national an international actors, this article probes the ways in which hate is problematized within current anti-hate crime activities in Europe. Hate seems here to work in two different ways: one dominant, emphasizing hate as prejudice, the other more implicit and ambiguous, emphasizing hate as an attitude of radical dislike. In both cases, hate is seen to jeopardize personal freedom, equality, tolerance, and democracy. This way of mobilizing potentially marginalizes the perpetratorsand makes it difficult to discuss the possible ways in which liberal democracy itself is entangled in labeling, producing and sustaining hatred.

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